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MoF’s release on anti-gay bill just a tool to sow fear and panic in Ghanaians – Lord Mensah

Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Professor Lord Mensah, has deemed the press release by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) regarding the implications of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s assent to the LGBTQ+ bill as unnecessary.

During an interview on Morning Starr with Francis Abban on Tuesday, Prof Mensah elaborated that the foreign support for the 2024 budget is of little significance to cause alarm among Ghanaians if it doesn’t materialise.

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“Go into the 2024 budget and look at the grants that we are targeting, which is just about 3.3 percent of our GDP. So it tells you that it’s just a microcosm of what we do in the country. We may do without them so I don’t see the reason why we should get ourselves worried,” Prof. Lord Mensah stated.

According to him, the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout for Ghana also has nothing on the LGBT+ bill.

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“Again, the IMF programme never talked about LGBTQ. So if the president goes ahead to assent the bill and we manage very well and we do what the IMF is looking out for, we should be able to get the releases.

“The World Bank will also be supporting us because the conditions behind the World Bank was that if we are able to meet the IMF target and continue to have the programme with them, they will be supporting us,” the senior lecturer stated.

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He continued: “So it has nothing to do with the bill, the release the Ministry brought is just a panic statement that they are throwing into the system which was not necessary. Let the President do his job, he should go ahead and put his pen to the bill and then we will see what will happen.”

Background

According to the Ministry of Finance, Ghana faces a potential loss of US$3.8 billion in World Bank financing over the next five to six years and risks derailing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program if the bill is assented to.

In a statement, the Ministry outlined several challenges Ghana may encounter due to the passage of the bill by Parliament.

“The expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) which is currently pending Parliamentary approval might not be disbursed by the Bank when it is approved by Parliament.;

“On-going negotiations on the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) amounting to US$300 million may be suspended; On-going negotiations for US$250 million to support the Ghana Financial Stability Fund may be suspended;

“Disbursement of undisbursed amounts totaling US$2.1 billion for on-going projects will be suspended; and Preparation of pipeline projects and declaration of effectiveness for two projects totaling worth US$900million may be suspended. Full details of the World Bank portfolio are attached as Appendix 1 & 2.

“In total, Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years. For 2024 Ghana will lose US$600 million Budget support and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund. This will negatively impact on Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as these inflows are expected to shore the country’s reserve position,” the statement read in parts.

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